The NHS Staff Survey 2021 results showed an increase in staff who have experienced musculoskeletal (MSK) problems as a result of work-related activities. It is therefore crucial that NHS organisations put interventions in place to address this, focusing on prevention and early intervention of MSK disorders to ensure the wellbeing of their staff.
How employers can support their staff
According to the Health and Safety Executive, MSK related long-term sickness absences have been exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some examples employers can put in place to support their staff:
- enable access to treatment through rapid access to services, such as physiotherapy
- educate staff on ways to prevent MSK disorders and how to effectively manage pain, raising awareness and promoting your resources regularly
- equip managers with knowledge of how to manage staff with MSK issues compassionately and supportively through training
- ensure the workplace is safe and regular risks assessments are carried out
- support staff with suitable equipment and ergonomic support and highlighting the need to stay active and stretch.
Resources to help you
- Musculoskeletal health in the workplace - tips and hints for supporting your staff.
- Rapid access to treatment and rehabilitation for staff - guide to help you set up the service in your organisation.
- Enabling and supporting staff to work from home - practical considerations to ensuring wellbeing in a home setting.
- Health and wellbeing conversations guide - helping managers to have confident and effective conversations to support their staff.
- Musculoskeletal health toolkit for employers. This toolkit is designed to help employers take positive actions to build a culture that champions good mental and physical health and provide a greater understanding of how to help those who need more support.